Why Did the Swankie Man Schlep Across the Street?

I learned some cool new words this week! Well I guess they are old words, but they are new to me! Okay here they are. Swankie. I love that one. Apparently it means ritzy? We were teaching one of my favorite people out here and she used that word. I busted up laughing, and gave her a hard time for using that word. The other word was schlept. She used it like this, “The Jews schlept across the street”. HAHA! It is referring to the way someone walks. I just thought those were the funniest things.

 

Anyways. We saw some miracles this week!! I was asked to give a workshop. The basis of the workshop was that with faith, miracles will happen. There were two sisters in there that really got it. I promised them that they could see miracles that very night if they would just have faith. I told them to call me that night to follow up. When they called me we were all ecstatic. They saw some amazing miracles! It is so cool to be a part of this work. I can’t even tell you.
There is a Sonic that we found. šŸ™‚ I have missed that place. I went a little crazy, but hey! It was Sonic! You can’t blame me too much! It brought back memories of going through the drive-thru with my mom and having her order a Route 44 Cherry Limeade with extra ice!! I even got cheese tots to celebrate the occasion.
We had another tender experience this past week. We had some extra time so we spent it knocking doors in Belle Harbor. WOW. That was the place that was most effected by Hurricane Sandy. The people love the missionaries over here. A lady that we met while knocking started crying on her doorstep. She was so touched by the memory of us helping her during the storm. Sadly, none of us were actually there to provide service for her, but we stood in place of those missionaries! It was incredible to see a complete stranger crying at the sight of us. Most of the people in Belle Harbor are Catholics, but they are generally very nice. They haven’t been interested in our message just yet, but they will soon! I just wish they all understood that their spiritual lives need as much repair as their temporal lives did.
I am loving the mission. I am still learning, and changing. Hopefully a pattern I can continue to see for the rest of my life. I learned so much this morning in my personal studies! I studied Mark 8 for like 45 minutes. I will copy and paste my study notes into the email at the end..
I love you all! Keep up the great work!
Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!
I was re-reading Mark 8 today and noticed something interesting. So
Mark 8 is after Jesus feeds the 5,000. His disciples witness this
incredible miracle that was unheard of. Now, shortly after that
experience, they found themselves in a similar situation. For some
reason the disciples ask a stupid question (Mark 8:4). I can imagine
that the Savior was frustrated with them for their lack of
understanding. In stead of rebuking them right there, he proceeded
with His miracle and fed them. Later in the chapter the Savior rips
into them and rebukes them for their lack of understanding earlier.
Jesus took His own advice. In D&C 121 we learn not to rebuke people in
public. I think that is why He didn’t say anything in the moment! He
waited until they were all in private to correct them!
Later on in theĀ chapter there is another miracle performed. The Savior heals a blindĀ man. It is interesting to note that this miracle is the only one
recorded where the Savior heals someone gradually. It could have been
because the man did not have enough faith at the beginning, and Jesus
was helping strengthen his faith along the way? It is interestingĀ nonetheless.
In Mark 8:28-29 I noticed something. Verse 28 says “they
answered” the Saviors question of who the people thought He was.
‘They’ obviously refers to multiple people. If you read in the next
verse when the Savior asks His disciples directly, “Whom say ye that I
am” their is only one person from the group to respond. “Peter
answered”. Would you, like Peter, be one to respond so quickly with
your testimony of the Divinity of The Son, or would you be caught off
guard trying to find out what you actually believe? (MarkĀ 8:33) The
hebrew word for satan just means “adversary”. He wasn’t calling Peter
the devil, he was acknowledging that Peter was in opposition (or an
adversary) to His plan. Peter still probably believed in the political
Messiah, like so many other Jewish people (Paul actually talks about
how much of a stumbling block this was for the Jewish people. They
couldn’t comprehend that their Messiah would be crucified. See 1
CorinthiansĀ 1:23). Peter was only defending the Jewish tradition of a
Messiah that he was raised with after the Savior prophesied of His
death in verses 30-31. We have to cut Peter a little slack, he was
probably pretty confused a lot of the time. I would have been too.
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Two Pies Please

Goodness gracious it has been quite the week! There are way too many things to put in this email, but as always… I will do my best. šŸ™‚
Exchanges like crazy. I have been all over the place this week! The highlight was returning to Midwood for a 24 hour exchange. It was amazing to be back there and see how much it has changed. It started with us playing tag with a LA kid and his friends. We played with them for a while and then had a spiritual thought about the Book of Mormon! The LA kid said the best prayer ever. He said something along the lines of, “Heavenly Father help my friends find out this is true, I know it is”. Wow it was incredible. We were walking around that night going to and from appointments when I saw this mom with her child. I caught her attention as she walked by and we talked to her! She was interested in learning more, and wanted her family to hear about our message. WOW. It is a family of six. Amazing. The next day we were picking up trash around the church and ran into this kid. He saw us picking stuff up so he just started throwing his trash on the ground in front of us. Some of the missionaries were getting ticked, but some people are just like that. What can you do huh? ANYWAYS, we had dinner with a strictly Jewish family. Some of the nicest people I have met on my mission. The missionaries started talking to them one day, and they have been going over once a week for dinner ever since. I had some delicious food (it is called Jachnun, you should look it up). That sums up my exchange there!!! It was wonderful.
Then I ventured over to Jamaica! I had an exchange with a less than pleasant man on the street. We were fearlessing and shining shoes, and I commented on how nice his shoes were! He stopped and proceeded to yell at me, blah, blah, blah. Never heard that one before. I just kept smiling and told him, “I don’t really care when the letter J was invented, that has nothing to do with my testimony of Jesus. And yes ‘Yahweh’ is indeed the hebrew name for Jehovah”. Whoop-dee-do. Haha I have heard all of these arguments a thousand times. I finally told him to have a nice day and started to walk away, and he started yelling out cursings upon my head and that blood will be on my hands or something. People be crazy. šŸ™‚ BUT then we went and got two pies from Joey’s on Jamaica ave. Boy do I love NY pizza. Yum.
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I actually fell asleep twice this past week. During church and a lesson. Ha.. I am so tired all of the time. I don’t have a minute to waste though! The minutes are going by too fast. I absolutely love this mission. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I am just going to go out there and live it up!
I read Moroni 7:3 this morning. There is an interesting quote in the institute manual. It says, “The rest here referred to is not physical rest, for there is no such thing as physical rest in the Church of Jesus Christ. Reference is made to the spiritual rest and peace which are born from a settled conviction of the truth in the minds of men”. Food for thought. In other words, “There aint no rest for the wicked”.
Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

Memories!

Wow. It has been quite the whirlwind this past week. It flew by. I have been so busy. I love it though! I will try to do a recap for you!

I am serving in a branch now. It is the first branch that I have served in on my mission. It is different, but I like it. I have never seen a unit that was in its early stages of development before. OH before I forget. Remember that lady we knocked into with President Calderwood in Terryville (I can’t remember if I told you about that)? She got baptized last Saturday! Miracle.
So I was able to go on exchanges back in Midwood this past week! It was great! It brought back a lot of memories of when I served there. Did I ever tell you about that guy from South Carolina? We met him while we were fearlessing one night. He said he needed money to travel to a bus stop so he could head to South Carolina. One of the missionaries ended up giving him $20. We talked to him on a bench that was covered in snow, in the freezing cold. We taught him the restoration and committed him to be baptized! He accepted and we told him how to get in touch with the church in SC. He gave us his ring to always remember him, etc. Pretty cool huh? Hold on. When I went back for exchanges I learned some more things about this guy. He has been in Midwood ever since then going around to different people telling them the same story he told us. He has been lying to everyone, and ripping them off. He even talked to the Bishop of the spanish ward in Midwood. Bishop gave him money out of his own pocket. I was so shocked. Can you believe that? Some people have no moral code. It is ridiculous.
I also remembered a time that we were fearlessing in that same place back in Midwood. I talked to this guy for a while and he seemed interested, so I went to get his information. I put his number in the phone and… his number was already in there. It was under “DO NOT ANSWER”. I had no idea what to do. I guess some missionaries had already contacted this guy before? Creepy huh?
Anyways! Enough reminiscing. This past week I was in Bushwick on a train when I saw this guy wearing super nice shoes. I had a prompting to approach him, but he immediately left the train. I didn’t think much of it, until about 2 hours later. I got back on the L-train at a totally different stop, and guess who was on the same train? The guy with the fancy shoes! I made a beeline to him, and started to talk to him. He was from Seattle and was super nice. He wasn’t interested in learning more, but I did get the information about his shoes! I asked him if they were expensive and he said, “define expensive”. Right then I knew they were pricey. They were $300. I proceeded to gasp inside and tell him I might look into them (yeah right).
I was walking around Queens when we got stopped by two guys. One was dressed as bird and he interviewed us for his show. It was fun! We had a good time. Then there was a lady in the background who was taking pictures of us for the NY times. She said it will be in the fashion section or something under intersection? Haha oh New York.
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A cool moment was watching a young man open his mission call to Hounduras! It was very emotional for me to watch that. I remember opening mine like it was yesterday. This is such a sacred time, and I love it. I would not trade this experience for the world.
Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!
P.S. We fearlessed a lady that was selling cinnamon roasted nuts. She ended up giving us free peanuts. Mmm. Cinnamon roasted nuts might be some of my favorite things! It has been such a great week. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Three Amigos!

This week has been incredibly busy. I won’t have very much time to
send big weekly emails anymore. I will try my best in the weeks to
come though!

I am serving in a trio again!! Elder Baker and Elder Nugent are my
companions. They are both really great guys. I am living in Queens
now. It is cool to be back in the city area. I do love the atmosphere
as a missionary. Our area is mainly Far Rockaway. The peninsula right
underneath Queens. This will probably be my last area, and I love it!

I loved General Conference. It is such a blessing to hear from
Prophets. I hope everyone had the chance to listen to some of it!

Elder Nugent taught me something cool this week. He said that with
blood sweat and tears we can do anything. The Blood represents Jesus
Christ’s Atonement. The Sweat represents our work. The tears are
symbolic of our crying unto the Lord continually. With that
combination, you can accomplish anything!!

Elder Lee
Come what may, and Love it!

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